Return to the USDOJ/OIG Home Page
Return to the Table of Contents

An Investigation of Travel Reimbursements in Connection with the INSís Operation Safeguard

December 2002
Office of the Inspector General


  U.S. Department of Justice
Immigration and Naturalization Service

HQFIN 80/9

Office of the Commissioner   425 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20536

SEP 05, 2002

FROM: James W. Ziglar [Signed]
Immigration and Naturalization Service
SUBJECT: Claiming Expenses for Official Travel

It has come to my attention that a few Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) employees have allegedly submitted claims for travel expenses tat they did not incur. The allegations are being investigated and anyone found to have made or been party to such claims should expect severe disciplinary action and/or criminal penalties. Submitting false travel claims has ethical and misconduct implications for individual employees and will not be tolerated at the INS.

The allegations currently under investigation indicate that certain employees have participated in offers with lodging establishments to obtain receipts stating that the maximum lodging rate allowable for that location was paid when, in fact, a lesser rate was paid. Filing a voucher that claims a higher amount than actually paid is a false, fictitious, or fraudulent claim employees, local merchants may approach employees with special offers or enticements to obtain Government business. While many such offers or enticements are legitimate and provide value to the Government, it is the responsibility of employees to avoid arrangements designed to enable them to claim travel expenses not actually incurred.

I know that most INS employees are honest and law abiding when filing their travel vouchers. However, please know that we intend to identify those individuals who file fraudulent claims and deal with them appropriately.

It is essential to always follow the Federal Travel Regulation in incurring official travel expenses and in filing claims for reimbursement of those expenses. If you do not know whether certain expenses are allowable, contact your local administrative officer or the Travel Management Section of the Office of Financial Management at (202) 616-9939.